On January 1, 2017, Nevada became the fifth state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.  Since then, Nevada employers have denied employment to prospective job candidates if they test positive for marijuana on a pre-employment drug test. This will soon become a statutory unlawful employment practice.

On June 5, 2019, Nevada’s Governor, approved Assembly Bill No. 132 (“AB132”), which prohibits employers from denying employment to a prospective job candidate because of the presence of marijuana on a pre-employment drug test. AB132 becomes effective on January 1, 2020.

AB132 does not provide protection for select employment positions wherein the safety of others may be compromised, such as firefighters, emergency medical technicians, or a position requiring the operation of a motor vehicle. Moreover, the provisions of AB132 do not apply when:

  • Federal or state law requires the prospective candidate to submit to a drug screening test;
  • The provisions conflict with an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement;
  • The provisions conflict with the provisions of federal law; or
  • The employment position is funded by a federal grant.

Nevada is making strides on the acclimation of the legalization of medicinal and recreational use of marijuana. We await to see how employers in Nevada’s top industries (such as hospitality and gaming) will respond to the passing of AB132.